Is European Travel Safe?
I just returned from a 12 day tour of southern France just days prior to their election. A lot of people expressed interest in joining me but most seemed to have the same worry: “I’ve always wanted to go to Europe but I’m not sure it’s safe after seeing the news.”
I was asked “What are the odds of a terrorist attack? Are there riots everywhere? Is it dangerous?”
Europe is a safe place to visit. Let me explain why I feel confident about saying that.
As a person whose area of study in college was journalism and mass marketing I know firsthand that “If it bleeds, it leads.” All you have to do is watch the local Tulsa news to verify that fact.
Europe is being consistently painted by the media in a negative light. An event happens and the media pick up the story and run wild with it. It gets glorified and sensationalized. Suddenly an entire continent looks like it’s dangerous and should be avoided.
The same thing happened with news relating to Mexico. For years you’ve been told Mexico isn’t safe, yet since 2005 after sending thousands of you on vacations to Mexico we have never had a single incident with our customers. Not one theft, not one threat. The problems in Mexico are on the border and where we are sending you on vacation is thousands of miles from there.
Let me say this again, we book several million dollars’ worth of Mexican vacations every year and we’ve never had a single safety issue. Never.
Combined with all the fake news that’s now so readily available on the internet it’s easy to see why so many travel destinations (esp. Mexico and Europe) look bad.
Here’s the truth of the matter: Europe is no more dangerous than any city in the US “(certainly in terms of gun violence-consider Tulsa”)…or anywhere else in the world. In terms of terrorism Europe is actually far safer than it has been in the very recent past. I’m old enough to remember the IRA troubles, do you?
95 people have died in domestic terrorists attack since 9/11. As much as I hate to say it you aren’t any safer in the US than you are in Europe when it comes to terrorism.
You’re more likely to get hurt in your bathtub or killed in a car wreck than die in a terrorist attack. Every year 37,000 people die in car accidents in the US. Over 700 Americans die in their bathtub each year. We’re petrified of being in a terrorist attack but we hardly ever give any thought to getting in a car or the bathtub.
I go to Mexico multiple times a year and go to Europe almost every year and can promise you that as a tourist you are not in any greater danger there than in any major city in the United States.
Europe and Mexico are not the dangerous places the news has made them out to be.
I know emotion can make us irrational but don’t live your life in fear of what might happen. If you do, the terrorists win.
Go to Mexico. Tour Europe. They are safe. Be observant everywhere you travel but be especially carefully in the bathtub as you get ready or the car on the way to the airport.
Joy Gawf-Crutchfield owns and operates The Joy of Travel.